★★★★ out of ★★★★★ 🩸🩸out of 🩸🩸🩸🩸🩸 for mild gore. If you’ve even run across Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, or Dinah Shore you’ll know that they all roiled in a very specific talk show space in the 1970s. Talk shows were smarmy, boozy, and informal affairs that gave audiences time each day to let their hair down and forget about the doldrums of the Viet Nam War and the crushing presence of socio-economic injustice in America. These talk shows were also incredibly competitive. Johnny Carson was king, but there was a lot of room under him to vie for advertisers and Neilson ratings. Late Night with the Devil follows that exact story line, by exploring frustrated talk show host Jack Delroy played pitch perfectly by David Dastmalchian.
★★.5 out of ★★★★★ 🩸🩸out of 🩸🩸🩸🩸🩸 for mild comedic gore. Midway through Only the Good Survive the local sheriff and Dennis Miller impersonator (Frederick Weller) is interrogating young Brea Dunlee (Sidney Flanigan) about her involvement in a string of ritualistic murders and asks “…is this a comedy or a horror?” While the film chugs along like an Edgar Wright-inspired effort, this very sentiment is really the film’s problem. It wants to be both. Unfortunately, juggling these two juxtaposed art forms is a tricky bit of business that is almost never accomplished.
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ 🩸🩸🩸 out of 🩸🩸🩸🩸🩸 for mild gore and a frayed family. Weird babysitter. Weird kid. Weird parents. A deeply weird connection to regular usage of LSD. And to top it off a weird poster. Spoonful of Sugar definitely traffics in the world of weird. Not Skinamarink weird mind you, but still firmly in the weird camp.
★★★ out of ★★★★★ 🩸🩸🩸 out of 🩸🩸🩸🩸🩸 for lots of gore. Nothing’s better when a small indy production punches WAY above its weight class — especially in the visual effects department. Sometimes the effort is a miserable failure and sometimes, yes sometimes, its indy deficiencies don’t even show for a minute.
★ out of ★★★★★ Because of money grubbing, legal hassling, and Hollywood head-butting, we haven’t seen a Friday the 13th film since 2009. Word on the street is that the 1980 Friday the 13th originator Sean Cunningham is BACK. Just like Jason never died!!! He’s teaming up with the writer and the director from a new horror flick, the Night Driver, and they’re making a reboot/sequel/requel happen.
★★★.5 out of ★★★★★ Since Netflix recently teased out a new Mike Flanagan series based upon Edgar Allen Poe’s haunting short story, the Fall of the House of the Usher, we decided it was high time to jump in the way-back machine and give its 1960 forefather a discerning look. Turns out Flanagan may be on to something by following this chilling story.
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ HP Lovecraft dug writing short stories. Edgar Allen Poe did too. Even the great Stephen King has been known to clack out a short story or two (hundred). Most horror writers have the keen ability to take a simple concept and extemporarily expound the idea in fairly concise and confined was. Sometimes this works and sometimes there’s a lot of questions begged and a lot more exposition that’s required.
★★★ out of ★★★★★ Sleazy, greasy, grimy, grindhouse fare. It’s all here. Right down to a chilling and rather off-putting performance by one of the more odd actors to ever grace a horror film, Klaus Kinski. Hot on the heels of one of the all-time great horror performances in 1979’s Nosferatu the Vampyre, Kinski sleazes his way throughout SCHIZOID!
In 2020, at the height of the global pandemic, the braintrust over at Morgan Creek Entertainment, announced — with very minimal fanfare, that they’d be taking a crack at one of the most vaunted franchises of all time — The Exorcist. To get the Scariest Things Podcast ready for 2023, and potentially the most polemic film in years, we sat down and poured through the entire EXORCIST universe. Some brilliant, some soup-soaked, some awfully-awful, and some filled with the most horrifying images ever put to film.
SO. MANY. GREAT. HORROR. FILMS. THIS. YEAR! Really. Our cups runneth over with gallons of blood, guts, and scares. Interestingly, 2022 also had some really awful films. Truly awful. But we're not here to talk about crappy films you don't want to see. Au contraire. We're here to tell YOU about the films that you'll be gabbing about well in to 2024 -- and beyond.
Merry Christmas from the Scariest Things Podcast!!! This year we’re giving you the gift that no one asked for, ever expected, and certainly one that no one ever put on their Christmas wishlist. It’s free and it’s here waiting for you. Totally unwrapped and ready to go… We give you all the Silent Night Deadly Night films ranked! And…you’re welcome.
★★.5 out of ★★★★★ Regicide is one of those awesome $5 dollar SAT words. You’d swear you know what it means, but always end up having to look it up online. We’ll save you they trouble. Regicide is the killing of a monarch or king. In the case of 2022’s uber-indy flick Regicide, this kind of makes sense, but it takes the film an awfully long time to find the metaphor.
★ out of ★★★★★ Laughably bad CGI. Overcooked and undercooked use of green screen. A shrill, bothersome, and awkward performance by Alicia Silverstone. And the sharks don’t even appear until the 50+ minute mark. These are just a few of problems with The Requin that could honestly fill an ocean.
Another year and another dollar! Once again Hollyweird cranked up the hype machine and had us parking our collective butts back in the theaters. What got your butt back in the theater? What got you to risk exposure to another Covid variant? What got you to shell out $14 bones for a mountain of greasy popcorn? The POSTER! That’s what did it.
★★★ out of ★★★★★ While no one on the Scariest Things Podcast is a licensed cryptozoologist, it’s fair to say that we all have an interest in this murky science. There’s even a few of us — gasp — that might actual believe in the cryptids! When this most recent offering popped up at the Another Hole in the Head Film fest we knew we had to search it out.
★★.5 out of ★★★★★ An evocative film name for an equally evocative true story. Pig Killer should not be taken lightly and nor should the horrible tale of Willy Pickton who killed and killed until he made his way in to Canadian history books as the most prolific serial killer in the country’s history.
★★ out of ★★★★★ Tucked neatly between two pretty cool holidays is a celebration that’s pretty mundane. Face it Thanksgiving ain’t all that great, nor is gluttony. It’s definitely a tough spot to be in. The equivalent in the world of horror is being unfortunately stuck between horror and comedy. That’s exactly where the 2019 Blumhouse/Hulu film Pilgrim fits. Sort of funny. Sort of horror. But really neither.
★★★ out of ★★★★★ The holidays are just around the corner! Well, technically the holidays are ALWAYS just around the corner. The only thing more bleak than the constant crush of forced holiday frivolity? I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday.
★★★★.5 out of ★★★★★ If 2022 has you a little jaundiced with reboots, sequels, prequels, and re-imaginations your feelings are not unwarranted. Let’s face it, Halloween Ends was confusing and largely devoid of Michael Myers. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was silly and uncooked. Hellraiser was pretty to look at, but became an unnecessary and boring reboot. Have no fear. The Indonesians are here to save us!
★★ out of ★★★★★ Like all hyper-beloved franchises there’s no way to end them in a satisfactory way. Save for MASH and the great Hawkeye Pierce, every last franchise has fumbled, bungled, and tied themselves in the most Gordian of Gordian Knots. Sadly, even with a stellar writing and directing crew, Halloween was not able to properly end.
📍📍📍 out of 📍📍📍📍📍 You either love the Cenobites or you don’t. You’re either interested in freaky BDSM emo-demons or you’re not. You either like non-linear otherworldly sci-fi based horror or it holds little interest to you. It’s possible there’s a third category — indifference — and that’s probably where I fall on the Hellraiser spectrum.
★★ out of ★★★★★ A “C” is passing, but it ain’t that great in the scheme of things. It’s just OK. Sometimes it’s from lack of trying, sometimes it’s from a poor teacher, and sometimes the student doesn’t have a lot to work from. In the case of 2022’s My Best Friend’s Exorcism, it had great source material, a great story, and the backing of one of the biggest corporations on the planet. So what the hell happened to one of the most anticipated films of 2022?
★★ out of ★★★★★ Pearl WILL be one of the more divisive films of the year. It will end up on some “best of” lists, but it could very well end up on some “worst of” lists. Why? Simple really. It’s a very uneven film. It contains some rather shocking bits, but it’s also equally underwhelming.
★★★★.5 out of ★★★★★ This might seem like a stretch, but you’ve never seen a film quite like 2022’s Men. Really. It’s in a pretty singular place in the world of psychedelic horror. Frankly, there’s nothing that really compares to this shocking bit of A24 business. Unless you count David Cronenberg’s 1979 classic the Brood as a contemporary — but that was 43 years ago. Men, directed by friend of horror, Alex Garland (28 Days Later and Annihilation) is exactly the film that 2022 needed, nay required. By managing to expertly weave through a minefield of trauma, sexual repression, male insecurity, and post-#metoo movement dynamics, Garland turns in one of the best horror films of the year.